from the maybe-if-we-ignore-our-problems... dept
It's been quite some time since we heard about Allofmp3, the Russian online music download store that offered extremely low prices on DRM-free downloads (you even got to pick your format). The company insisted that it was legal in Russia, and had all the appropriate licenses. Multiple times, the company was brought to court in Russia, and every time, it was found to be legitimate. In fact, the company even tried to pay royalties for the music it sold, but the recording industry refused to accept the payments.
However, the entertainment industry had US diplomats lean on Russia, claiming that if it didn't shut down the site, the US would block Russia's admittance into the WTO. So, eventually, Russia did shut down the site through somewhat questionable means. Of course, within minutes of it being shutdown, the company reappeared under the name Mp3Sparks. In fact, Allofmp3.com accounts worked just fine on Mp3Sparks. And, of course, there are a dozen or so other Russian online download stores that also offer the same sort of deal (and all of which are playing by Russian copyright laws).
For some reason, though, Mp3Sparks just hasn't received nearly as much attention as Allofmp3, and it seems like The Pirate Bay has taken on the role of "public enemy number 1" for the recording industry. So, it should come as little surprise that the RIAA has dropped its lawsuit against Allofmp3.com, saying that the company is now defunct, while totally ignoring Mp3Sparks.